STARRED REVIEW
July 2015

Navigating the new world of romance

By Aziz Ansari
It’s a match made in heaven: Aziz Ansari, one of America’s top comics, and the subject of love. In Modern Romance, Ansari delivers dispatches from the front lines of dating in the digital age and proves to be as befuddled by love as the rest of us.
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It’s a match made in heaven: Aziz Ansari, one of America’s top comics, and the subject of love. In Modern Romance, Ansari delivers dispatches from the front lines of dating in the digital age and proves to be as befuddled by love as the rest of us. 

The “Parks and Recreation” star is up front about the fact that his own lack of success with the ladies provided the motivation for writing the book, but it’s much more than a comic romp. For research assistance, Ansari enlisted NYU sociology professor Eric Klinenberg, and Modern Romance is filled with their findings—case studies, factoids and hard data that demonstrate how dating has evolved in our device-driven era, a time when the quest for amour is both aided and complicated by the omnipresent Internet. 

A smartphone is like “a 24-7 singles bar,” Ansari says. “Press a few buttons at any time of the day, and you’re instantly immersed in an ocean of romantic possibilities.” Of course, navigating that ocean can be a challenge. While technology expedites connection, it comes with its own set of singular difficulties, and Ansari explores many of these, providing survey-supported info on the best way to initiate a date (phone call versus text message), how to take a winning photo for a dating site (girls, avoid using pix in which you’re posing with an animal or guzzling a Bud) and more.

Ansari broadens his scope by reaching into the past—he talks to seniors at a retirement home about what their love lives were like—and pondering timeless questions: How prevalent is cheating? Do you need to get married? His report on the contemporary pursuit of a perfect partner mixes solid research with hilarious riffs—all delivered Ansari-style. It’s an irresistible pairing. 

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Modern Romance

Modern Romance

By Aziz Ansari
Penguin Press
ISBN 9781594206276

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